Monday, December 6, 2010

Gift Ideas: Local favorites from Renegade Chicago!

This weekend marked the 5th Annual Holiday Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago, held at the beautiful Pulaski Park Fieldhouse. I worked Saturday at the Ork Posters booth, and yesterday got a chance to browse around. It was such a treat to know so many wonderful artists and craftspeople at Renegade this year, mainly through my involvement in the Chicago Printers Guild, and I was really proud of all the hard work my friends put into their stands.

Since I most often write about printmaking and works on paper, I wanted to share a handful of my favorite shops that are based in Chicago that have nothing to do with paper (in no particular order), and a piece or two I liked from each one... gift guide alert!

(Check back soon, because there are more out-of-town favorites from Renegade to come in the next few days!)

Hand-printed fabrics, bags, and accessories

Jessica Taylor, under the name of Fiori Falsi, is a talented friend and fellow printmaker. She screenprints patterns onto the fabric herself, and offers a wonderful line of fashionable, sturdy, well-made bags and purses. She's also able to make custom bags, if you have specific things you want (everyone is picky about their purse!). If you like her style and want to give one as a gift, she offers gift certificates through her website as well (so that way your recipient can customize his/her own!). I've been longing for one for ages!

Hand-printed fabrics, linens, and cards

Katy Collier is another talented friend and fellow artist (originally from Portland, OR) whose work I love. Her drawing and illustration style is charming and sweet, and she uses simple plant imagery in her linocut prints on fabric. If you have any newborns in your life, she has onesies, and if you'd like to give a housewarming gift, her curtains, tea towels, and napkins are all perfect for such an occasion.

MAKER and MAKER (Chicago, IL)
Handmade, limited-edition ceramics.

In the persons of Andy Hunt, Tim Woodbrey, and Ali Gibbons, Maker and Maker has clean and simple forms, with funky, rustic designs and glazes. This particular line is classic, vintage Americana. My favorite piece was the buffalo sculpture below (also in rust color). Keep an eye on their Etsy page for new work. They'll be releasing new lines of limited-edition ceramics (new designs, and new glazes) every few months, I believe.

Durable, functional accessories and bags made from recycled clothes and fabric (with a preppy twist!)

I was very much drawn to the beautiful fabrics (those stripes are just calling my name!) that the folks at Winter Session use, and pleased to see that they use re-purposed clothes to make many or most of their products. Everything is already a little worn and immensely touchable, with that soft, old-cotton feel that you get from favorite shirts you've had lying around for years. They also make smaller accesories that were for sale at Renegade (but not visible on the website) and neat scarves from old men's button-down shirts that drape beautifully and look awesome.


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